BAGUIO CITY – The city’s anti-smoking task force is pushing for the passage of an ordinance that will impose stricter anti-smoking rules and regulations applicable to the prevailing situation in order to prevent the exposure of the youth to the dangers of smoking.
Dra. Donnabel Tubera, medical officer IV of the city health services office, said smokers in the city still remain to be higher than the prevailing national average which warrants the passage of the appropriate ordinance that will impose applicable anti-smoking rules and regulations that will be in consonance with the National Tobacco Control Law.
She cited the national average is 27.3 percent while the smokers in the city is around 28.7 percent which indicates the need for the local government and the people of the city to get their acts together in intensifying the implementation of existing antismoking rules and regulations to curb the continuous increase in the number of smokers in the city.
“It is important that we will be able to have a localized version of the applicable provisions of the National Tobacco Control Law so that we can have stricter anti-smoking rules to help curb the continuous increase in the number of smokers in our city. We will be pinning our hopes to the next batch of city councillors for them to pass the necessary ordinance for subsequent implementation,” Tubera stressed.
The medical officer stated part of the initiatives being currently undertaken by the city’s anti-smoking task force is the monitoring of the different establishments offering cigarettes, beer and liquor near education institutions for the owners not to do so as they will face the consequences of their illegal actions.
According to her, establishments which are at least 100 meters from schools should not be allowed to sell cigarettes, thus, notices from the permits and licensing division of the City Mayor’s Office are being issued to those violators for them to stop selling cigarettes to prevent them from being imposed the sanctions under existing laws, rules and regulations.
She revealed that based on previous surveys conducted to ascertain the smokers in the city, they were able to find out that the youngest smoker in the city was a 9-year old minor which is considered to be unusual, thus, the next survey on smoking in adults will be done by their office by June this year with the hope that the number of smokers in the city will decline considering the passage of the Sin Tax Law and the Graphics Warning on cigarettes.
Tubera claimed a stick of cigarette contains over 7,000 chemicals with over 400 chemicals as carcinogenic and that cigarette smoking exposes the body to the conduct of 36 s-ray sessions.
Tubera explained the interventions being implemented by the concerned government agencies and the local government against smoking is to spree the youth from being exposed to the serious negative effects of cigarette smoke to their health, especially that exposure to cigarette smoke could result to serious illnesses like lung cancer among other complications that might compromise their health conditions in the future.
By Dexter A. See